Thomas Burnett is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he majors in biological sciences. He wishes to pursue a PhD in pharmacology or neuroscience to study cell signaling as it pertains to pain, particularly chronic pain conditions. He hopes to better understand the mechanism by which chronic pain arises, and, if possible, design a means to counteract such maladies.
A secondary passion for art has pushed him towards this internship, where he will be working with Dr. Tracy Smith and Dr. Cynthia Wagner to determine the species and geographic origins of ivory. At UMBC, he is an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Phyllis Robinson, where he studies the activation mechanism in melanopsin, a signaling protein in the retina involved with circadian rhythm regulation. Outside of academics, Thomas enjoys reading, hiking, and practicing martial arts.